We’ve always defined ourselves as DIY – out of necessity at first, then as an aesthetic choice – our shows definitely have a homemade feel to them.
“Dirty Market” – the nickname for a big junk market Georgina grew up close to in Scotland, where the flotsam and jetsam of people’s lives washed up. A trip to the Dirty Market meant entering an alternative world, stumbling through piles of clothes and furniture, discovering oddities… and sometimes treasure. You’d step in and out of imagined stories, the detritus of people’s lives piled together randomly, creating new narratives.
There’s another market, in Varanasi, India, where mountains of discarded electronic goods are taken apart and sorted into piles and then expertly rebuilt into ‘new’ items by tinkerers, craftsman – bricoleurs.
DIY is not just about making theatre on the cheap (though it can be a lot cheaper). With DIY theatre you get the opportunity to harness everyone’s creative energies, getting the best answers from surprising places – (What? Actors have ideas worth listening to? My God! The Stage Manager is sitting silently on the answer to my thorny problem? Ouch…).
Sometimes it’s a bit chaotic and the answers don’t come as quickly as usual when employing those tried-and-tested “well-made play” methodologies. But those old methods usually guarantee a certain sameness, a one-size-fits-all theatre.
The audience gets the theatre they expect, which is fine of course.
But throwing away the old rule book creates space. And that’s space for more than just new work. It has the potential to be a place where new healthier attitudes towards each other can take root, where everyone – audience included – can uncover and develop new abilities and talents, and where everyone has the opportunity to become one of the ‘creatives’.